August 27 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Ed Upright and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020
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11:00 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Lord & Taylor is officially closing all of its stores and going out of business

From CNN's Jordan Valinsky

A person walks past a Lord & Taylor store in Boston on August 4.
A person walks past a Lord & Taylor store in Boston on August 4. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Lord & Taylor -- the first department store established in the United States -- is officially going out of business, ending a nearly 200-year-run.

The company announced Thursday that all of its 38 remaining stores and website have begun liquidation sales — a sharp reversal from last week's decision that it was keeping 14 locations open.

"While we are still entertaining various opportunities, we believe it is prudent to simultaneously put the remainder of the stores into liquidation to maximize value of inventory for the estate while pursuing options for the company's brands," Ed Kremer, Lord & Taylor's chief restructuring officer, said in a statement.

Backstory: The company was once a mainstay of high-end fashion. Hudson's Bay Company acquired Lord & Taylor in 2012 before selling it in 2019 to Le Tote, Inc., a fashion rental subscription service, for $75 million. Le Tote tried reviving the brand with a pop-up store in New York City and remodeling its remaining stores with a focus on technology.

10:57 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Pelosi and Meadows to discuss Covid-19 relief legislation, weeks after negotiations broke down

From CNN's Phil Mattingly and Veronica Stracqualursi

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a news conference in Washington, DC on July 24.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a news conference in Washington, DC on July 24. Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows are expected to hold a call later Thursday on coronavirus relief legislation, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Here's some background: The two haven't spoken since talks imploded weeks ago and negotiators walked away without a deal intended to bolster the economy and help struggling Americans pay their bills amid the pandemic.

There is little optimism on either side of Pennsylvania Avenue that there will be any progress on stimulus talks before lawmakers return to Washington in September, as the two sides remain far apart on even the general scope of a package, let alone the granular policy details of one.

A first step: But the fact that Pelosi and Meadows will talk -- after partisan blaming and spending the last several weeks talking past and around one another through the press -- represents the first tangible step toward restarting negotiations since they broke down.

Democrats have insisted on a topline of above $2 trillion that includes nearly $1 trillion in aid for state and local governments. The White House has firmly opposed that topline price tag and has rejected substantial new aid for states and localities.

Read the full story here.

10:39 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

US and UK are bottom of the pile in rankings of governments' handling of coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Richard Allen Greene

Americans rank dead last -- by a long way -- among citizens of more than a dozen countries who were asked whether their nation is more united now than it was before the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released Thursday.

And they come in a statistical joint last place with the British on whether their country has handled the pandemic well, the poll finds.

In the United States, fewer than two in 10 people (18%) said the country is more united now.

That's a full 21 percentage points below the next lowest-ranking countries, Germany and France, where just under four in 10 (39%) respondents expressed that opinion. Denmark had the highest percentage saying their country was more united now, with more than seven in 10 (72%) giving that answer.

Results show partisan gap in US: As with so many questions these hyper-partisan days, there's a gigantic gap between Republican and Democratic views of whether the Trump administration has handled the pandemic well.

Three quarters (76%) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the government has done a good job. Only one quarter (25%) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents agree.

The findings come from a Pew Research Center survey of 14 advanced economies in North America, Europe and Asia. The Washington, DC-based think tank interviewed 14,276 adults by telephone from June 10 to August 3.

A clear majority of people across the 14 countries said their own nation had handled Covid-19 well: 73% agreed, while 27% disagreed.

But in the United Kingdom and the United States, the figures were much lower: 46% and 47% respectively. They're the only two countries where a minority of people said the government had done well. In every other country polled, most people said their government had done well, from Japan with 55% up to Denmark with 95%.

The United States is not the only country where support for the government's coronavirus response broke along partisan lines -- the Pew survey detected the same pattern in the UK and in Spain.

Those results show it's not a matter of whether you're on the left or the right of the political spectrum that predicts whether you think your government has done well. The US and UK have right-leaning governments, while Spain has a left-leaning one. In each country, people with the same political bent as the government tend to say it's done well in the crisis.

Read the full story here.

9:51 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Texas Governor explains how state is handling a second hurricane during the pandemic

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Flooding caused by Hurricane Laura is seen in Sabine Pass, Texas, on August 27.
Flooding caused by Hurricane Laura is seen in Sabine Pass, Texas, on August 27. Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Texas has dealt with two hurricanes during the global Covid-19 pandemic, Governor Greg Abbott told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Thursday morning. 

After Hurricane Hanna hit the Corpus Christi area in July, the state learned new strategies, he said.  

He said ahead of Hurricane Laura, “as opposed to evacuating people to large convention centers and things like that. We've tried to put as many as possible to hotel rooms so that families can isolate together, so that they are not in a congregate setting, spreading Covid-19.” 

“We're hoping everybody here, continues to follow the same standards of wearing a mask, sanitizing your hands, as well as maintaining your distance. If they were able to do that. I have no doubt that we will be able to continue to contain the Covid-19,” he said.  

When asked if President Donald Trump should postpone his speech tonight amidst the hurricanes, Abbott said he hasn’t even been watching the Republican National Convention, “I've been watching the hurricane, as its approaching.”   

“I'll be candid with you, because I've been literally working around the clock on the hurricane. I haven't had a chance to tune into anything.”  

But Abbott said he thinks the RNC will go on as planned, adding: “I think he will give a terrific speech.” 

Watch the full interview here:

9:44 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Hundreds of workers at UK poultry factory told to self-isolate as 75 test positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Nada Bashir

Hundreds of workers at a poultry factory in Norfolk, England have been asked to self-isolate amid a localized outbreak of coronavirus, UK health authorities confirmed Thursday.

The Public Health England agency added that so far, a total of 75 workers at the Banham Poultry facility have tested positive for Covid-19, out of 347 people tested. 

“As a result of this infection rate, which is at about 22%, Banham Poultry has voluntarily agreed to close part of their site following advice from Public Health England and Norfolk Public Health,” Norfolk County Council said in a statement. 
“All 350 staff who work in the cutting room area of the factory will be asked to isolate with their households. Those who have tested positive will be asked to isolate for 10 days. Those who have tested negative will be asked to isolate for 14 days,” the statement added. 

According to Norfolk's Director of Public Health, Dr. Louise Smith, authorities are currently only investigating staff who work at the poultry factory, as well as members of their households. 

“There is no evidence of increased risk to the general public. The risk of infection from food products is very low,” she added. 

9:27 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

FDA warns about hand sanitizer packaged to look like food or drinks

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

The US Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about alcohol-based hand sanitizers being packaged in containers that look like food or drink packaging.

“The agency has discovered that some hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, children’s food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles and vodka bottles,” a news release from the agency said. “Additionally, the FDA has found hand sanitizers that contain food flavors, such as chocolate or raspberry.” 

The FDA received a report from a consumer who bought what they thought was drinking water, but was actually hand sanitizer, the release says. There was also a report of a hand sanitizer product that used children’s cartoons in marketing that came in a pouch that resembled a snack. 

“I am increasingly concerned about hand sanitizer being packaged to appear to be consumable products, such as baby food or beverages. These products could confuse consumers into accidentally ingesting a potentially deadly product. It’s dangerous to add scents with food flavors to hand sanitizers which children could think smells like food, eat and get alcohol poisoning,” FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in the release.

Hand sanitizer can be toxic when ingested and even a small amount can be potentially lethal to a young child. 

9:26 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

France soccer star Paul Pogba tests positive for Covid-19, coach says

From CNN’s Martin Goillandeau

Manchester United's Paul Pogba is pictured during a Premier League match in Leicester, England, on July 26.
Manchester United's Paul Pogba is pictured during a Premier League match in Leicester, England, on July 26. Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will not take part in France's next two Nations League soccer matches after he tested positive for Covid-19, France coach Didier Deschamps said in a Thursday press conference.

“Paul Pogba was supposed to be in the list of players. Unfortunately for him, he got tested yesterday, which turned out to be positive this morning,” Deschamps said.

Pogba will not be the only player missing for France in the games against Sweden on Saturday and Croatia on Sept. 8.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele also wasn't included in the French squad. He was placed in a 14-day quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus several days ago, according to French sports daily L'Equipe.

9:17 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

As Hurricane Laura batters the Gulf Coast, the pandemic is hampering evacuation efforts

From CNN's Tara John

An area in Sabine Pass, Texas, is flooded during Hurricane Laura on August 27.
An area in Sabine Pass, Texas, is flooded during Hurricane Laura on August 27. Eric Thayer/Getty Images

The US is being hammered by twin disasters today. The coronavirus outbreak is complicating efforts to evacuate people as Hurricane Laura barrels into the Gulf Coast.

More than 1.5 million Texas and Louisiana residents were under evacuation orders after the National Hurricane Center warned of "unsurvivable" storm surges of 20 feet or higher. Laura, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm before being downgraded to a Category 2 as it made its way inland, could overwhelm coasts and lead to surges reaching some 30 miles inland.

Evacuations have been hampered by Covid-19 safety protocols. Social distancing measures meant extra buses were needed to transport people out, and Louisiana residents were taken to hotels instead of shelters in an effort to keep numbers down, Theresa Waldrop writes.

A version of this story appeared in the August 27 edition of CNN's Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.

Read the full story here.

8:57 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

A further one million Americans claimed unemployment benefits last week

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

Another 1 million American workers filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The report met economists' expectations, but it's still a disappointment: So far, we've only seen one week — at the start of August — with fewer than a million claims since March, when the pandemic started to take its toll on America's job market.

Continued jobless claims, which count people filing at least two weeks in a row, stood at 14.5 million.

These estimates do not include claims under the government's pandemic aid programs, which are in part designed to help those who cannot otherwise access regular unemployment benefits.

Read the full story here.